Review by Choice Review
Also author of From Hegel to Madonna: Towards a General Economy of "Commodity Fetishism" (1998), Miklitsch (Ohio Univ.) provides insightful readings of contemporary culture (popular music, film, television) in an attempt to explore and ultimately to deconstruct the boundaries between elite culture and popular culture. Throughout he carries on a sustained critique of Theodor Adorno's theories of high art, carefully grounding his discussion in contemporary cultural criticism. The most valuable sections of the book focus on rock music: noteworthy are an extended analysis of the significance of Chuck Berry and explorations of gangsta rap, the music of the Riot Grrrls, and soundtracks of Quentin Tarantino films. Miklitsch also provides provocative readings of television programs, including Melrose Place, The Sopranos, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Although tedious background information on early rock and roll and extended plot summaries of films and television programs occasionally threaten to overwhelm the analysis, this book is truly dazzling in places. Miklitsch's personal, chatty prose may irritate some, but this style proves a strength as the author navigates heavy-duty theory that would otherwise be incomprehensible to less experienced readers. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. R. D. Morrison Morehead State University
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